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2009 Fundacio Oriente Branco Colares

SKU #1397881 92 points Wine & Spirits

Outer quote mark This is young-vine malvasia grown in coastal sands on the westernmost point of the Iberian peninsula, where the region’s vineyards, once renowned for long-lived wines, have mostly been replaced by beach homes. This was fermented in stainless steel, left for four months on the lees, then racked before aging in tank for three years. It’s since grown into a plump, toasty white with scents of iodine and kelp. There’s a spiciness that lasts; Assistant Editor Deanna Gonnella, who has a soft spot for Colares, placed this one with “a big bowl of little clams and toasted bread to dip in it.” Inner quote mark (8/2017)

K&L Notes

Produced from 9 hectares of vines (at the time, half of the D.O.'s total plantation) purchased from the local land preservation society, this is a fantastic, dry, creamy, white-fruited Malvasia-based wine from the smallest D.O. in Portugal, located right on the coast, where vines are literally planted in holes dug into the sand down to the point where clay subsoil is reached. Given the damp, harsh conditions, which make it difficult to grow and properly ripen grapes (even red wines here often barely reach 12% abv), coupled with the temptation of developing expensive coastal real estate, Colares was at one point in danger of becoming a footnote in the Portuguese wine story. Now, the region enjoys some fame and is a popular feature story in many wine publications.

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Price: $39.99

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